Gambia’s President Yahya Jammeh has issued an executive order against pre and post-election related arrests or prosecution in a bid to restore confidence and security in the country.
The outgoing president made the call during a national address Tuesday night after Gambia’s Supreme Court adjourned an election petition hearing filed by the ruling party against the December 1 election results.
“I hereby issue an executive order to that effect that nobody be arrested or prosecuted due to acts or omissions in the pre and post electoral period from November 1, 2016 to January 31, 2017,” he said.
He added that the country’s secretary-general will work with the Ministry of Justice and the National Assembly to draft a general amnesty bill to confirm and ensure that there is no witch-hunt.
A number of people including journalists have been arrested during the electioneering crisis and many others have fled the country including Electoral Commissioner Alieu Momarr Njai and recently resigned Minister of Communication Sheriff Bojang who have “fled for their lives” to neighbouring Senegal.
Jammeh also announced that the secretary-general and head of civil service will hold a meeting with all stakeholders to resolve the issues in a bid to build trust.
He assured Gambians that he will abide by the constitution to resolve the political crisis sparked by his refusal to step down due to allegations of electoral fraud after initially conceding defeat to opposition leader Adama Barrow.
“I assure everyone that as a Gambian, a Muslim, and a family man no foreigner can love this country and hold its highest interest of heart more than myself and the majority of Gambians. So I will also be taking all possible steps within the constitution and my conscience to do my part to resolve this impasse,” he said.
His address ended with an appeal to Gambians and foreigners in the country to go about their regular business in peace.
“As we are all human and bound to make mistakes, we therefore accept this as a test on our faith … I ask all Gambians and other nationals in the country to go about their business in peace and security and I assure you that Allah willing all will continue to be well and this will all be resolved in peace,” he concluded.
A meeting scheduled for Wednesday between ECOWAS, led by Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and Gambia’s outgoing president was postponed to Friday upon request of Jammeh.
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